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Wakanda is one of Africa's biggest nations, it's still a third world country but it's also holder of many secrets. It's former ruler was King T'Chaka, the nation loved their King but he was killed by a bomb explosion, since then his son T'Challa is his rightful heir and leader of the Black Panther tribe.
After returning to his country, T'Challa finds his country of Wakanda fragmented and in disarray; though his people are still loyal to the crown and his lineage, many people have seized the opportunity to take a piece of Wakanda for themselves - one of which T'Challa is all too familiar with.
Klaw is T'Challa's nemesis and is an incredibly intelligent yet despicably evil man who will go to any lengths to take what he thinks is his for the taking. Klaw wishes to take the Wakandan land for his own and is willing to destroy all its citizens if needs be.
Continue: Black Panther Trailer
The long anticipated war between man and ape has finally arrived. The leader of the genetically-modified apes, Caesar, refuses to take responsibility for it; he has given the surviving humans too chances to maintain peace between them to count, but it's not in a human being's nature to allow their planet to be ruled by anything other than their own species. After Caesar's former right-hand man Koba betrays him and incites anger between both humans and apes, their ultimate civility was always going to collapse into an all-out war. Now that an army has been assembled lead by the Colonel, no mercy will be shown towards their primate counterparts. Though there is one man, the Preacher, who still believes there's a chance there can be peace.
Continue: War For The Planet Of The Apes Trailer
After the release of The Force Awakens at the end of 2015, Disney and Lucas films didn't mess around delivering the general public its first announcement/teaser for The Last Jedi back at the start of 2016. Now, well over a year later, we finally get to see some proper footage from the upcoming movie.
Many of the key cast from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will feature in The Last Jedi including Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren who famously slaughtered his much-loved father in a face to face battle that made for one of the most pivotal scenes in the history of Star Wars.
As ever with new Star Wars releases, the scrip and the story outline is one of Hollywood's most closely guarded secrets and few official details have been released to the public. We do know that the story will pick up where The Force Awakens ended with Rey going off into a mountainous setting to hunt down Luke Skywalker in a bid to train with him and learn his knowledge.
Continue: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer
Rich Cline talks us through some of the most anticipated movies for release in 2017.
As always, there are far too many sequels, spin-offs, remakes and reboots clogging the cinemas, but hopefully they'll be better than 2016's lacklustre batch. (Release dates are subject to change.)
Star Wars: Episode Viii - Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill continue the saga (Dec). More sci-fi sequels worth waiting for: the gang reteams for more space antics in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (May), Michael Fassbender returns for Alien: Covenant (May), and Harrison Ford is back for Blade Runner 2049 (Oct).
Continue reading: The Ten Most Anticipated Films Of 2017
Appealing both to a new generation of viewers and fans of the series since the beginning, this 30-years-later sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi is a thrilling adventure. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams has managed to capture the tone of the original trilogy while telling a story about young, vibrant new characters whose connection to the overall saga deepens intriguingly as events unfurl.
Over the past three decades, the Empire has regrouped, forming the First Order to crush the Old Republic for good. And the plucky Rebellion hasn't offered much resistance since leader Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) disappeared. The Empire's top henchman Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is searching for him just as diligently as the rebel leader General Leia (Carrie Fisher). But the real action is happening out of their grasp, as disaffected storm trooper Finn (John Boyega) teams up with rebel pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) and then feisty scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) and expressive droid BB-8. Along the way, Han Solo and Chewbacca (Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew) find themselves back in the fray. And everyone is startled when there's a strong stirring in the force.
Abrams beautifully recreates the scruffy, clanky mechanical atmosphere of the original trilogy, infusing scenes with witty banter and John William's soaring score to throw us right back into that familiar galaxy. This includes the saga's main themes: the temptation of power, how true heroism is often accidental, and the tension between parents and children. Combine this with a plot that propels itself with a series of unexpected adventures and battles, all centred on the characters, and the film taps strongly into the teen in all of us.
Continue reading: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens Review
After the victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Galactic Empire and subsequent demolition of The Death Star, you'd imaging life in a certain galaxy would be a little more subdued, but as we soon learn, life for Princess Leia, Luke and Hans wasn't exactly easy following their small yet essential victory.
30 years on and to most citizens - humanoid and alien - the stories of evil Lord Darth Vader and the Jedi Masters are just a legend, a story they tell their children that starts with the well-known overture: 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away'. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh film in the Star Wars series and is an additional story to the original Star Wars outline.
The film follows a set of new characters as they join the battle and fight the evil forces once again threatening to destroy their galaxy. The Force Awakens was directed by Jj Abrams and sees a number of cast favourites return to the story including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
Nine years after his final appearance as the iconic Gollum in Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of The Rings' trilogy, Andy Serkis returned to reprise he role in 2012's prequel, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'. But at the last moment, Jackson asked Serkis to act as the second unit director for the film as well. "It was a huge epic adventure" he explains, before confessing "which I didn't even know I was going to be involved in!"
It doesn't tell us much, but here's your first taster of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.
It's finally here! The teaser trailer you've all been waiting for: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', and while it's not really giving anything away, it looks pretty intense. Vehicles have updated, the stormtroopers are looking shinier and R2D2 appears to have evolved.
Star Wars returns in December 2015
Since George Lucas announced his retirement from the franchise, there's been all sorts of speculation about what differences could be expected from an updated sequel: though it's difficult to tell from the less than one and a half minute trailer. Everyone seems to be in a rush (especially, in a comical fashion, R2D2) and there's some brand new faces, who all look a little nervous as a voiceover booms out: 'There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The dark side and the light.'
The Avengers may be feeling like they are capable of anything after saving New York City from Loki's rampage and returning the deadly Tesseract to its rightful place in Asgard, but the group have a new threat to overcome. As the group; Tony Stark (Iron Man), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Bruce Banner (Hulk), Thor, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye); attempt to enjoy an usually civilised evening together, they are interrupted by Ultron - a backfired project of Stark who is dead set on destroying the human race and branding them puppets in his game. With S.H.I.EL.D. destroyed, their chances of saving the world once again are looking dangerously slim. Now beginning to question just how much power they have, they are forced to regroup for a mission that could finally see their end.
Scroll for more picture from the Spanish premiere of the highly rated movie
Andy Serkis was a prominent figure as Madrid got its first taste of ‘Dawn of The Planet of The Apes’ with the film’s premiere at the Capitol Cinema.
Having already dominated American box offices, ‘Dawn of The Planet of The Apes’ moves to European markets this weekend, hitting the UK tonight (July 17) and Spain tomorrow (July 18).
Reviews for the ‘Apes’ sequel have been emphatically positive, with many critics noting the vast improvement to the franchise with this sequel. Serkis plays Caeser, the Ape raised by humans caught in the middle of a burgeoning, all out war. But despite being famed for his work with CGI and motion capture – something integral to his roles both in this film and as Golem in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Serkis thinks acting trumps special effects each and every time.
Continue reading: 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Madrid Premiere [Pictures]
Seriously, you have got to see this movie.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened in US theatres this past weekend and immediately stormed to the top of the box office chart, taking over $73million. Really, this should come as no surprise as the film has earned almost universal praise from critics and currently holds an impressive 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But if you don't believe us, here’s 10 lines from the critics that should get you running to the movie theatres to see Dawn of The Planet of The Apes now. Seriously, this movie is awesome, but don't just take our word for it.
Apes versus humans, can't we all just get along?
1. "Just when it seemed like blockbusters could never evolve, in rides this extraordinary epic - a towering fable of humanity and brutality that takes a great movie myth and launches it forward. " Joe Neumair, New York Daily News' .
Continue reading: 10 Lines That Prove How Awesome ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Is
Serkis details the intricate nature of playing an ape
CGI supremo Andy Serkis made his name in the motion capture game with Golem, one of the more memorable characters to emerge from Peter Jackson’s expensive Tolkien trilogies, which comprise both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit.
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, out this Friday
Golem, a feral creature, shares many physical characteristics with the titular apes in Dawn of The Planet of The Apes – the extremely well-received sci-fi sequel set for release this Friday. Speaking to Entertainmentwise, Serkis outlined the specific challenges involved in bringing his character, Caeser, to life, and making the apes’ evolution seem believable and realistic.
Early reviews of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' suggest the upcoming film is thought provoking, action packed and lends itself well to a sequel continuing the popular movie franchise.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is released in US cinemas this Friday. The film has already caused controversy but early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and indicate it may prove a huge success.
Early reviews have praised Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Planet of the Apes stars meet the press in San Francisco, while the casts of Hercules and Begin Again stage photo-calls in London. Ferrell tries out prison garb in L.A., and new trailers offer glimpses of Horrible Bosses 2, Paddington and The Skeleton Twins...
It was a week for photo-calls, as the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gathered in San Francisco. Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and director Matt Reeves were all on-hand to premiere the film and then pose for some picturesque shots in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. The film opens next week in the US and July 18th in the UK. Watch 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' trailer.
Dwayne Johnson and his costars in the blockbuster retelling of the Hercules myth gathered in London this week to meet the press. Director Brett Ratner introduced the cast and showed a new clip-reel before heading out into Trafalgar Square for a photo op with Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Reece Ritchie, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal and Irina Shayk. The film opens at the end of the month. Take a look at some photo's from the Hercules Photocall taken in London on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.
Caesar was the world's first genetically modified ape, who was more than let down by his supposedly caring human conterparts as he grew older and wiser, with the ability to communicate like a human being. Now living in a world where apes rule over the Earth, and over the few remaining humans after a deadly virus swept the planet nearly ten years ago, Caesar has every right to feel unsympathetic. The humans appeal to the apes for peace but most of them are brutal and merciless in response, unwilling to let mankind rule over the planet again. However, Caesar sees that unless they can live in peace, everyone will die and he starts to feel that perhaps there's more good in humans than he was starting to believe. As a devastating war breaks out, he bonds with a man he likens to the scientist who brought him up and decides to find a way to help everyone live in harmony, risking his own life for both their races.
'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is the unnerving sequel to the 2011 sci-fi 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'. Both are precursors to the 'Planet of the Apes' franchise, and 'Dawn...' has been directed by Matt Reeves ('The Pallbearer', 'Let Me In', 'Cloverfield') alongside writers Mark Bomback ('The Wolverine'), Scott Z. Burns ('The Bourne Ultimatum'), Rick Jaffa ('The Relic') and Amanda Silver ('The Hand That Rocks the Cradle'). It is due for release on July 17th 2014.
Way to recover from a tight spot, J.J. Abrams and co.
Good news for Star Wars fans, Lupita fans and just people who enjoy good things in general – Lupita Nyong’o has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. Kudos to whoever is making the casting decisions there, by the way. After the original casting was criticised for basically populating the film with all white men, hiring the most promising young Oscar winner of 2014 is probably the best way to recover.
Nyong'o and her impeccable style at Liberty State Park.
And in other “awesome ladies, who we’d love to see kick all the tail in Star Wars,” Gwendolyn Christie, aka Game of Thrones’ Brienne of Tarth, has also been cast in Episode VII. Sidenote: if you’re not a fan of Christie/Brienne, we’re not saying you’re wrong, but you definitely aren’t right.
The new Star Wars cast is mobilized and ready for action.
Now that the official Star Wars: Episode VII cast has been revealed (thee whole women, the production team have really outdone themselves this time) it’s time for the constant, non-stop barrage of on-set material to commence. Starting with a full cast photo, of course.
It's really happening!
The epic black and white photo was taken during a table read in London. It shows all the castmembers sitting in a circle, with director J.J. Abrams, who's talking to Han Solo/Star Wars actor Harrison Ford in the center.
Continue reading: First Cast Photos Amps Up The Hype For "Star Wars: Episode VII"
Ready to play I Spy?
The cast of the new Star Wars movie has been revealed in a new teaser photo posted on the Star Wars website. The team shot shows includes John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max Von Sydow.
The franchise's new faces join original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Kenny Baker (R2D2). The photo shows the cast plus director JJ Abrams chilling out in comfy chairs as they lay the foundations for Disney's reboot of George Lucas' well-loved sci-fi movies.
Continue reading: Guess Who? 'Star Wars 7' Cast Revealed In Team Photo
Earth has become a post-apocalyptic nightmare inhabited by the few survivors of a virus that plagued the globe nearly ten years ago, affecting only humans and destroying civilisation. Now, a breed of genetically modified apes whose intelligence and strength exceed far beyond the mental capabilities of mankind are well on their way to becoming the rulers of the planet - a power that the humans aren't about to give up in a hurry. They are led by the ruthless original 'improved' primate Caesar, and the once immaculately built-up cities of the world have overgrown into isolated wilderness. With apes on the warpath and mankind struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives in the face of the oncoming menace, the two races must join together and form some kind of peaceful truce, lest the fate of the world becomes even more dismal.
Continue: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Trailer
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks to be the part of the franchise where it all hits the fan.
The newly released trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is about as dark as an “end of the world” movie can be and just as exciting. The short clip, released by 20th Century Fox on Wednesday, includes Gary Oldman giving a rousing speech to his small band of survivors, who managed to outlast a deadly virus and subsequent war. Meanwhile we, the audience, get to see flashes of the devastation left behind. The clip is just a teaser though, so maybe fans will get a better idea of the story in an upcoming extended trailer.
To top it off, the trailer then cuts to Andy Cerkis’ newly terryfying Ceasar. This is not the intelligent, mild ape James Franco’s character befriended in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (the titles are bound to get really confusing at some point) – this Ceasar is all war paint and fury. As the camera pulls away and we get a glimpse of the gathering ape army, the message of the trailer becomes abundantly clear – humanity is well and truly doomed by now.
Nearing a decade after a massive percentage of human civilisation was destroyed after a virus affecting only mankind spread its way across the globe, a breed of genetically modified apes with intelligence beyond normal capacity are on the verge of ruling the Earth, led by the original genetically reformed primate, Caesar. The once immaculate cities have become wild, with only a few survivors left to take on the challenge of rebuilding their lives - but it's something they are unlikely to achieve until some sort of peace is reached between the humans and apes. When that fails, the only thing left is war; something that could turn brutal enough to wipe out both species on their quest for dominance.
Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.
Two years ago, Samantha Shannon was a nobody - certainly in the literary world. A 19-year-old slaving away as an intern like thousands of other aspiring writers, she put her mind to realising her dream - writing a fantasy novel.
Two years later came the manuscript for The Bone Season, a 480 page novel that's already being likened to Jk Rowling's Harry Potter. Snapped up at the first time of asking, the book has already been sold in 20 countries and hits shelves today (August 20, 2013).
Andy Serkis - who plays Golum in the Lord of the Rings movies - has bought the film rights to the book from publisher Bloomsbury and will begin work on a big-screen adaptation with his company The Imaginarium.
Continue reading: How A 19-year-old Intern Wrote 'The Bone Season,' The New Harry Potter
Is 'The Bone Season' the new Harry Potter? Andy Serkis thinks so.
Two years ago, Samantha Shannon was a 19-year-old intern - though no ordinary 19-year-ordinary intern. She had 480 pages of a fantasy novel locked away, for which - two years later - she would be paid a £100,000 advance.
The Bone Season looks set to become an international bestseller and comparisons are already being made to JK Rowling and Harry Potter. So far, the rights to the novel have been sold in 20 countries and it hits shelves in the UK on August 20. However, perhaps far more lucrative to both Shannon and publisher Bloomsbury is that the film rights to the novel have been bought by Andy Serkis's company The Imaginarium.
"A few Hollywood studios were interested, but I went with The Imaginarium," she told the Telegraph, "They're a British company and I felt they got the book and would keep to its spirit."
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
It's Here. The first trailer for the second of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, debuted at 6pm on Warner Brothers' YouTube channel.
Following last Christmas' first instalment that kicked off the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the new episode of adventures in Middle Earth will take Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the band of aggrieved-yet-upbeat dwarves further into their quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor; stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Now, Bilbo has gained The One Ring after his life-changing meeting with the wretched Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the brave group have escaped the Goblin Kingdom to start the next leg of their quest to reclaim their kingdom and riches from Smaug, travelling through the Misty Mountains.
Based on the novel that preceded J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was one book that has been turned into three films. Sure, this is probably to rake in maximum profits, but at least three 3 hour films will allow Jackson to deliver close interpretations and stretch out the franchise for another few years.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Trailer - First Look
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
Bill, known to his friends as Wild Bill, has just been imprisoned for eight years for drug dealing. Now out on parole, he returns to his flat in a tower block in East London to find his two sons, Dean and Jimmy, living alone. Their mother abandoned them a while ago, so the respective fifteen and eleven year olds have been fending for themselves.
Continue: Wild Bill Trailer
Since their mum left nine months earlier, 15-year-old Dean (Poulter) has been taking care of 11-year-old brother Jimmy (Williams) by working in construction at the Olympic park. But Jimmy is failing at school and getting increasingly involved with a gang of local drug dealers (Gregory, Maskell and Rheon). Then after eight years in prison, their dad Bill (Creed-Miles) comes home, realising that he must show some responsibility to keep his sons from being taken into care. But they don't know him, and he doesn't know anything about being a father.
Continue reading: Wild Bill Review
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.
This lively holiday romp has a steady stream of sharp verbal and visual gags that hold our interest. Even when the plot stalls in the middle, it's difficult to stop chuckling at the filmmakers' deranged sense of humour.
At the North Pole, Santa (Broadbent) is a bit complacent after 70 years on the job, letting his heir-apparent son Steve (Laurie) convert Christmas Eve into a high-tech black-ops style mission executed with military precision. To Steve, missing one child is an insignificant statistic. But Steve's younger brother Arthur (McAvoy) disagrees, and teams up with his feisty Grandsanta (Nighy) to make sure the last gift is delivered the old fashioned way.
Yes, the film is a riot of clashes between tradition and progress, the wisdom of the years and youthful vigour. Fortunately, the serious themes are subverted, hilariously playing with our expectations and never turning into a nostalgic paean to the olden days. That said, this British production does feel eerily co-opted by Hollywood, from the use of the American "Santa Claus" (no one ever calls him "Father Christmas", which might have made sense of the film's odd title) to the somewhat feeble attempts to ramp up the action and suspense. Not to mention a massive wave of sentimentality at the end.
But even this is undermined by Baynham (Borat) and director Smith's script, which maintains a dry British sense of humour and gives the strong vocal cast plenty of snappy material to play with. While most of the characters are a bit unmemorable, Nighy gets the best lines: Grandsanta as an old coot full of surprises, including some terrific rude jokes and an amusingly animated hound-style old reindeer sidekick. Staunton also has some terrific dialog as the underestimated Mrs Santa.
Visually the film is brightly colourful, amusingly designed with small sight gags and continual Christmas imagery. While the characters look a little plasticky, the settings are gorgeously rendered, and the flying sleigh sequences almost make it worth seeing in 3D. The problem is that the film feels stretched out by random antics and underdeveloped plot-threads along the way that add nothing to the overall story. So we get tired of the bumbling chaos, mainly because we know exactly where it's got to end up.
Tintin is a young and passionate journalist who is always accompanied on his adventures with his faithful terrier, Snowy. One day, while out browsing a market place, Tintin comes across a rare model of a boat called 'The Unicorn'. He buys it and almost immediately has to ward off other potential buyers interested in the boat.
Will (Franco) is a San Francisco scientist experimenting with a new Alzheimer's medication he hopes will cure his father (Lithgow). But things take an unexpected turn when his greedy boss (Oyelowo) gets rid of his lab-test chimps, leaving Will to raise infant ape Caesar (Serkis) in secret. But Caesar's super-human intelligence can't keep him out of the clutches of the nasty father-son animal controllers (Cox and Felton), who badly underestimate him.
Can Will and his chimp-expert girlfriend (Pinto) sort out the mess before a furious Caesar takes matters into his own capable hands?
Continue reading: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Review
In 1828 Edinburgh, friends William Burke (Pegg) and William Hare (Serkis) realise they can make good money supplying cadavers to world-class surgeon Dr Knox (Wilkinson). But when they can't find a dead body, they kill someone instead. Hare's wife (Hynes) finds out and wants in on it, but Burke can't tell his aspiring actress girlfriend (Fisher) how he makes his living. Meanwhile, Knox is battling a rival surgeon (Curry) for the King's seal. And the local militia captain (Corbett) is closing in.
Continue reading: Burke & Hare Review
Disabled by polio at age 10, Ian Dury (Serkis) grew up with a fierce determination to be himself, and against the odds became an iconic leader of Britain's punk scene in the 1970s. But his unruly lifestyle takes a toll on his personal relationships, and he barely knows his son Baxter (Milner) from his first wife Betty (Williams). So Baxter comes to stay with him and his current girlfriend Denise (Harris), and both father and son need to figure out how to relate to each other. And to realise how much they need each other.
Continue reading: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Review
Flushed Away is a prototypical anthropomorphic-fish-out-of-water tale, about a pampered pet rat named Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who gets accidentally flushed down the toilet of his owners' posh Kensington flat and ends up out of his element in a rat-sized version of London down in the sewers. His attempts to make his way back up top get him mixed up with a sassy lass, Rita (Kate Winslet), who is on the run from a local crime boss and his thugs. Of course, because this is an animated family film, the boss is an ill-tempered toad and one of the henchmen is an albino former lab rat, but the ideas are universal.
Continue reading: Flushed Away Review
Although Caine won an Oscar in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, there's a reason you didn't see his follow-up in this movie: because it's total crap. The acting is awful and the story is an insult. Director John Irvin has had better luck with "women's films" like Widow's Peak and A Month By the Lake, but unfortunately his action ends up more like Raw Deal.
Continue reading: Shiner Review
Unless you're a "Lord of the Rings" superfan, you'd better brush up on "Fellowship of the Ring" before seeing the sequel "The Two Towers," because director Peter Jackson just jumps right in to the middle of the story without much in the way of introductions or explanations.
He assumes you know who Hobbits Merry and Pippin are and why they've been abducted by the Uruk-Hai, the beastly minions of unseen supernatural villain Sauron (you know all about them, right?). He assumes you recall where "Fellowship" left off with human warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Elfin archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and why they're trying to rescue Merry and Pippin.
He also assumes you know that hero Hobbits Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Austin) are still trying to reach the kingdom of Mordor, where they are to cast the dangerously omnipotent Ring into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, thus keeping it out of the hands Sauron, who would use its dark psychic powers to lay waste to the world.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings:
the Two Towers Review
In the entire three hours of the audacious, transporting, spectacularly cinematic first "Lord of the Rings" installment, there are only two very brief moments that don't come across as being 100-percent a part of the mystical, dark and magical realm of Middle Earth.
These moments are not because of bad performances (there aren't any), negligent directing or special effects gaffes. In fact, from the digitally dialed-down stature of the actors playing hobbits to the frightfully demonic hoards of living-dead orcs (minions of the supernaturally evil antagonist), the effects are seamless.
These moments of doubt are merely scenes that take place in such plain locations (e.g. a non-descript river bed) that they seem far too familiar and Earthly in a movie of underground troll cities, ominous mountains called Doom, idyllic ancient forest hamlets of immortal elves, and hobbit's homes burrowed into impossibly green hillsides.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring Review
By the time hobbit hero Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) finally -- finally! -- struggles to the top of Mount Doom, where at the climax of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" he must cast into its volcanic fires the malevolently omnipotent Ring that has been slowly consuming his psyche for three movies now, many of the nit-picky things that have gotten on my nerves throughout all the "Lord of the Rings" flicks had come to a head.
So many times now has Frodo's whiney, obsequious traveling companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) begun boo-hoo-hooing that I started rooting for him to be chucked into the lava along with the jewelry. One too many times has a lucky coincidence saved our hero, as when in this picture he's captured by the demonic, bad-tempered Orcs, only to be rescued moments later when his two guards -- the only two guards in an entire tower it seems -- are conveniently distracted by fighting with each other.
And once too often has director Peter Jackson assumed that the previous installments will be fresh in minds of the audience. That's a pretty safe bet for his fan base, but for the unobsessed, "Return of the King" -- like "The Two Towers" before it -- has many what-did-I-miss? moments. For example, in one of two climactic battle scenes, a never-identified army of fearsome face-painted foes riding atop gigantic elephants appears on the flank of the protagonists' battalion, prompting the question, "Who the heck are these guys?" (Apparently they were in the second movie too, but pardon me for not having seen it since last year.)
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Review
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